Every Family Matters – supporting your child with social distancing
Social distancing is vital to stopping the spread of coronavirus and there are practical steps we should all be taking to reduce our interaction with others, including staying at home wherever possible.
However, this might be a difficult concept for some children and young people to understand. They’ve gone from being at school or college surrounded by their friends every day, to being asked to stay at home and not being able to do lots of the activities they are used to doing.
Social distancing is not something that the majority of parents and carers will have ever experienced before either and so while you’re trying to navigate the new norm and understand the implications for yourself, you might be finding it difficult to explain to your child why social distancing is so important right now. If you are struggling to start a conversation, there is information and advice available to help you.
We’ve also pulled together some tips below to help you help your child while we all practice social distancing.
- Put together a daily routine – structure is important. Many young people will have gone from having a regular routine during the week, to something completely different, which can be unsettling. It’s therefore good to maintain a routine and have set times for things like schoolwork, staying active and being creative, as well as down time to rest and relax.
- Stay in touch with family and friends – think of some fun ways to reach out to people. This might be sending a card, writing a letter, or a virtual family games night. Try to think of something new together and encourage your child to schedule this into their daily routine.
- Learn something new – is there something you’ve always wanted to try as a family? Now is the time. You could also use time at home during the weekend to teach your child practical skills, such as cooking, using a washing machine, or changing a fuse – skills that will come in handy as they grow.
- Stay active – encouraging your child to move each day will help them to stay healthy physically and mentally. If they are finding it difficult to find motivation, try something together as a family, or use a free video available online.
- Get creative – encourage your child to use any free time to express themselves creatively. This might be painting, drawing or playing with Lego.
- Take care of yourself – your child is relying on you to help them navigate the unprecedented times we all find ourselves in and so as a parent or carer, it’s important that you also take steps to look after yourself.